The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 
News Features  |  Talking Politics  |  This Just In
Best2011Vote-1000x50

Scott Brown's dilemma

Now that he has revealed his sexual abuse, will he confront his party's rape deniers?
By EDITORIAL  |  February 23, 2011

Scott Brown
When Massachusetts voters chose Republican Scott Brown to fill the senate seat held by the late Democratic legend Ted Kennedy, Brown became an national celebrity — the coolest cat on the media scene since Sarah Palin, a pop phenomenon almost as nifty as sliced bread.

During his first year in Washington, Brown proved to be a steadfast Republican. But on four high-profile issues — jobs, financial reform, gays in the military, and nuclear arms control — Brown joined a handful of Republican free-thinkers who broke ranks with their reactionary party.

Those votes angered many of the Tea Baggers who supported Brown's underdog candidacy, and outraged the looniest elements of the Republican base. But the votes burnished Brown's reputation in Massachusetts, allowed him to bond meaningfully with powerful Democratic colleagues such as Representative Barney Frank and Senator John Kerry, and reconfirmed his media status as a man to watch.

Now comes Brown's memoir, Against All Odds: My Life of Hardship, Fast Breaks, and Second Chances.

Against All Odds may not be in the same class as President Barack Obama's two autobiographical works or President Bill Clinton's memoir. Nevertheless, Brown's book is head and shoulders above most tomes published by elected officials. In terms of literary competition, Against All Odds puts to shame the dismal stuff put out by Palin and Rick Santorum.

Against All Odds is an unusual book from a senator. It is curiously apolitical in a mildly conservative way. When necessary, it makes requisite bows to balanced budgets and the need for hard work and low taxes, but those propositions are presented as religious assumptions, not policy imperatives. There is little more than a hint, if even that, that these concerns are the stuff of bitter political division in Washington — and now in Wisconsin and soon, perhaps, in a host of other states.

What Brown has written is a coming-of-age story, more grisly than Horatio Alger, not as rollicking as Huck Finn. It is the story of a boy, Brown, who grows up in the midst of four dysfunctional family situations where alcohol, physical violence, and abandonment are the norm. He escapes a life of petty crime by the skin of his teeth and finds salvation through sports and study.

No one reading this book can escape admiring Brown's journey and accomplishment, but by the same token, no one who this finishes this book will have any serious idea about issues facing Massachusetts and the nation in the months and years to come.

Against All Odds is not a campaign autobiography; it is a reelection memoir, a volume intended to keep the focus on Brown's personality and away from his politics. Brown's occasional votes in support of Democratic initiatives are situationally welcome, but they help Brown in Massachusetts more than they benefit Democrats nationally. Ninety-eight percent of the time, Brown is voting with the Republican party to favor the interests of multinational corporations and corporate executives over workers, and the rich and the affluent over the middle class and the poor. The GOP can deny it, apologists can festoon Republican policies with all manner of mind candy, but in the end the rich get richer when the Republicans are in charge and everyone else suffers.

1  |  2  |   next >
Related: Poor reception, Reliving the nightmare, Elephant in the Room?, More more >
  Topics: The Editorial Page , Republicans, Scott Brown, Massachusetts politics,  More more >
| More
1 Comments / Add Comment

Wd5Dem

Right you are, David. To put it more bluntly, Brown is betting that the readers of People magazine are his voters and his donors. If nothing else, he understands celebrity - as evidenced by his Cosmo centerfold and has for a long time. I don't think this will work towards his re-election to a full Senate term - as evidenced by the victory of MassDems in the mid-term elections. And btw, any other campers or childhood friends turn up to corroborate Senator Brown's childhood experience of sexual abuse? Could he have been the only one?
Posted: February 23 2011 at 6:48 PM
Add Comment
HTML Prohibited

 Friends' Activity   Popular   Most Viewed 
[ 03/07 ]   Martin Henn  @ Harvard Coop
[ 03/07 ]   MFA Student Reading Night  @ Middlesex Lounge
[ 03/07 ]   OMD + Oh Land  @ Paradise Rock Club
ARTICLES BY EDITORIAL
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DISTRICT 7 ENDORSEMENT: VOTE TITO  |  March 04, 2011
    Thirty-five-year-old Tito Jackson, a former economic development official in Governor Deval Patrick's administration, is the candidate most deserving of District 7's votes.
  •   TO YOUR HEALTH  |  March 02, 2011
    Here's our second Gubernatorial Scorecard, in which we score Governor Paul LePage on political savvy, and on whether what he's trying to do is good policy. Note the running total.
  •   SCOTT BROWN'S DILEMMA  |  February 23, 2011
    During his first year in Washington, Brown proved to be a steadfast Republican. But on four high-profile issues — jobs, financial reform, gays in the military, and nuclear arms control — Brown joined a handful of Republican free-thinkers who broke ranks with their reactionary party.
  •   PHOENIX WINS NENPA HONORS  |  February 23, 2011
    At the New England Newspaper and Press Association awards banquet earlier this month, Portland Phoenix writers earned several awards in the weekly newspaper category.
  •   SARAH PALIN WILTS AS GLENN BECK SELF-DESTRUCTS  |  February 10, 2011
    Common sense has bloomed among right wingers — not once, but twice. And while these episodes are unlikely to become regular events, we should enjoy them while we can.

 See all articles by: EDITORIAL

MOST POPULAR
RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2011 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group